Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bogota Youth Academy

   Class two of the Bogota Police Emergency Services Youth Academy had their graduation ceremony Tuesday night in the Steen school Gymnasium.  Fifty young Women & Men from Bogota completed the eight day course, in which they went through intensive training to learn about the different branches of the emergency service department within Bogota. The Academy is more than just a show & tell for kids during the summer.
The Academy is based on a "military style " training program that teaches the Cadet to work as hard as they can to improve themselves, and work as a team with other Cadets, as much as possible. Program Director Sgt. Craig Lynch of the Bogota Police Dept. talks about how the Academy's mission is to bring out the best in each Cadet in order to prepare them for the next part of their lives. The Academy accepts  a limited amount of applicants each year with many candidates needing to be turned away. This year class of Cadet spent each day doing physical as well as academic training, also there was a different discipline to be learned as well. One day may be spend with the Police Dept. while another is devoted to learning how to preform a water rescue. The Cadet are excepted to preform the tasks they are learning about, which in turn should be up the Cadets confidence.
   The graduation program started with the Cadet being into the Gymnasium with the sound of bagpipes as the Cadets preformed a quick of precision drill to honour the parents, friends & family in attendance.
After a performance of the National  Anthem by Katie Ferris. Sgt. Lynch  began the program by thanking the parents of the Cadet for allowing them to take part in the Academy. He told the parents that was his honour, & pleasure the he was entrusted  with their children. He introduced his staff who helped instruct and motivated the Cadet.  Police Chief Burke was asked to speak to the audience about his idea for the Academy. Chief Burke in-turn thanked Sgt Lynch and Program Coordinator Anna Ferris(with a broken toe not stopping her from sharing this event with the Cadets) in growing the Academy idea in two short years into the stellar program that is has become. 
   During the field trips for training, the four squads of the Academy would have a relay competition at the end of the day. Alpha Squad winning at the EMS  "Hands on CPR" and the Rescue Squad "Rescue line throwing" while Bravo Squad won the Fire Dept. Relay. There were awards for Physical Fitness won by Delta Squad, and Academics won by Charlie Squad. There were some individual awards for Leadership handed out by Sgt. Lynch for the Cadets that took control of a situation on their own. Showing that they have the skills to view a situation and act accordingly. Some of the highest praise from Sgt. Lynch came when he announced the awards for Courage. By Sgt Lynch's definition:" Courage is NOT a lack of fear, but knowing what one's fear is, and facing it in order to do the job that needs to be done." One award was given to Cadet Patrick Brophy who at the beginning of the Academy training talked to Sgt. Lynch to tell him that he was mistaken for signing up for the Academy. Cadet Brophy talked how it was too tough to be on time, and that he thought he could not do the physical requirements needed. Sgt. Lynch told him that it was alright to feel that way, and there was not harm in trying, but if he could  give it another chance tomorrow. After seven more tomorrows Cadet Brophy stayed with his class to the end. Then there was Cadet Kristin Sybel, who on the first day was asked to be looked at for her own safety. Sgt Lynch thought the first day " Boot Camp" had taken their toll on Cadet Sybel, and ask Ms. Ferris "Miss Anna"to look after her. After some hydration, and cooling down Cadet Sybel rejoined her squad and continued to perform her duties. Then there is Cadet Denzel Profitt, who had to start the Academy with a misspelled name on the back of his shirt. Having survived any comments about that then came the day at the pool. Cadet Profitt said that not only he did not how to swim, but he had a fear of heights. So when it was his turn to jump off the high dive he showed what kind of Cadet he really was. He put on his Life-vest , and helmet, and went to to top of the ladder. His follow Cadet cheered him on, and let him know the supported him. Next Cadet Profitt had walked off the board to plunge into the water, and was "rescued" by his follow Cadets. Cadet Profitt knew his fear, and had the courage to act upon it, and not letting his fear win. 
  The final award was top Cadet of the class. It could have been Cadet Kesley Castro who despite her small stature was a squad leader, and did her best to act as one. Or it could have been another squad leader Cadet Kayla Garcia, who stood up for her squad when need, and  kept on leading them. 
   But the top Cadet for the 2012 Bogota Youth Academy was Cadet Jaclyn Villafuerte. One time she was asked by Ms. Ferris to talk with her privately. It was only then she revealed an ankle injury she suffered while playing softball.  She was asked if it was going to be too much for her, but  Cadet Villafuerte insisted on staying. She then went on to excel at all that was asked of her. For her achievements both physically and academically Cadet Villafuerte was all of the instructors and staff first choice to be top Cadet. Sgt. Lynch praised her as being the best of the best, but continued in saying that all of the young women & men who went through the Academy showed themselves to be some of the best Bogota has to offer. Some of the Cadets will now have out grown the Academy for next year, but are still welcome back to support future Cadets. While some are still eligible to return next year.
   His final thoughts again were that is was honoured and proud to have these Cadets for eight days, and he returned them back to their families better and stronger. Not only for themselves but for the Borough as well.    

Piper Eamom Radburn , of Engine Co. 2, serenading the audience into Steen School 

The Academy Class #02 drilling for the audience.

Katie Ferris singing the National Anthem.

Some of the instructive 

Bogota Police Chief Burke talking about the Youth Academy.

Program Coordinator Anna Ferris talking about the Cadets 

Bogota Police Sgt. and Program Director, Craig Lynch describing how proud he is of the Cadets 

Some of the award winners

Ms. Ferris reading a few of the comments of the Cadets to Sgt. Lynch

Sgt. Lynch with top Cadet Jaclyn Villafuerte.

1 comment:

  1. My son was lucky enough to have been part of Class 01 and 02. The dedication and professionalism the instructors showed to our kids is more than any parent could ask. Many thanks to the instructors and congratulations to the hard working cadets!

    Suzanne Schroer


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